Listen Live

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – Two mother pythons, several hatchlings and nearly two dozen unhatched eggs recently were removed from a southwest Florida wildlife preserve, officials said.

>> Read more trending news

According to WPTV and WPLG, python contractor Alex McDuffie and Matthew Rubenstein, an officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, discovered the invasive snakes earlier this week at Big Cypress National Preserve in Collier County.

Rubenstein was on patrol in the preserve Monday night when he saw McDuffie capture a fresh hatchling, the news outlets reported. The pair went on to find 18 hatchlings, as well as a 10-foot mother python on a nest containing 23 eggs that had not hatched, authorities said. They also spotted another nest nearby with 74 eggs that had recently hatched, officials said.

McDuffie returned to the preserve the following night and tracked down the second mother python, which measured 17 1/2 feet long, according to WPTV. The contractor said it was the largest python he has ever captured, WPLG reported.

Big Cypress’ python research team now has the eggs, according to WPTV. McDuffie told the Miami Herald that the adult pythons will be euthanized.